David Fideler in conversation with Joanna Harcourt-Smith about his recent book, Restoring the Soul of the World: Our Living Bond with Nature’s Intelligence
Joanna Harcourt-Smith: Welcome, David.
David Fideler: It’s very nice to be here speaking with you.
Joanna: I will jump right in. The world has a soul?
David: Well, yes. That was the traditional Greek view of the world and the cosmos. And for a large part of the history of the Western world — say for around eight hundred years — that was really the normal way to look at the world: that our planet and the entire cosmos was ensouled, and a living entity, and a reflection of intelligence.
Joanna: Well I think it’s the moment now, more than ever, that if the mechanistic view — the Cartesian view — wins, then we are lost as a people. So speak to us about the organic view of the universe.
David: For some reason, when you talk about that nature’s intelligence — I think it’s because of the mechanistic worldview — it sounds a little strange to the modern ear. But if you go back and try to understand the way the Greeks looked at it, it makes quite a bit of sense. And what it really meant to the Greeks — this idea of living nature, nature’s intelligence, and soul — is summed up in the word psyche.
The Greek word psyche means life. And when the Greeks looked at the world they saw all sorts of repeating patterns — you know, the growth patterns of plants, all organisms. These are all patterns or forms emerging from the natural world. And wherever you see a form, it’s a strategy for solving some kind of problem. And wherever you have a strategy, there’s some kind of intelligence present. So for for Greeks, this idea of the World Soul referred to the active form-generating power that’s present in the world.
This had really been the normal view of the cosmos and our planet for hundreds of years; and it was only with the Scientific Revolution that people started to model the universe as being a machine. And, as you know, it’s had all sorts of disastrous consequences in terms of our own relationship with the Earth.
Joanna: That’s right.
David: I always like to look at both sides of things, and there were some good things that came out of the mechanistic worldview. And one of those good things was an increasing sense of human autonomy, which I think is positive: when you look at the psychological growth of individuals, we have to become individual human beings, and part of that involves autonomy. But even a good thing can be taken too far, and in the case of the mechanistic worldview, it painted a vision of the world of that was useful in some ways but also quite damaging. And we’re now left in the situation where a lot of human beings don’t even feel like they’re part of the living world. We refer to nature as “the environment,” which is this very cold, sterile, almost medical term. It’s like, “we live in this environment.” It’s very clinical. People don’t even have a sense that they live in nature any longer — at least a lot of people.
Joanna: Right. I’m thinking about Hypatia, and how her murder might have been the beginning of the mechanistic view?
David: The murder of Hypatia was, I suppose, an attempt to suppress ancient knowledge in some way. And you know, all of these ideas do have ancient roots. If you look at the Greek philosophers, virtually all of the philosophers viewed the world as being an organism.
Plato was the first one to actually use this term World Soul — or in the original Greek, it’s “soul of the cosmos.” Plato said that the universe was “a Single Living Creature that contains all living creatures within it.” And that it was also “one Whole of wholes.” So this is a very modern idea, in a sense, because in the sciences we now have this idea of the philosophy of holism, or the philosophy of organism. We now know that organisms operate in holistic ways. That is the way that Plato viewed the world.
If you go two thousand years later, you reach Descartes, and Descartes said, “I have described this earth, and indeed the whole visible world, as a machine.” That’s an exact quotation. And so you can see, both of these views, of Plato and Descartes, are worlds apart.
To go back to what I was saying: most the Greek philosophers did view the world as being an intelligent organism. But there was one school, the Atomists — which is where we get our term atom — that basically viewed the world as being a collection of tiny particles, which just sort of came together. And it’s through the coming together of particles that life emerged. When the mechanistic worldview emerged during the Scientific Revolution, it was really going back to that ancient idea of atomism. It was really a revival of that in some ways.
You know, they say there’s really “nothing new under the sun,” and I guess that’s true. [Laughter]
Joanna: Right. Well I would love to hear you talk about beauty and desire.
David: For Plato especially, and also the Pythagoreans, beauty was something very, very important about the cosmos. When we see beauty in nature, it communicates something to us. The word cosmos itself goes back to the philosopher Pythagoras, and he called the universe a kosmos because the universe is beautiful. That word kosmos means “adornment” or “beauty,” and it’s actually where the word cosmetic comes from. And so this idea that the world possesses beauty was something very important.
And even in our own times, Gregory Bateson talked about the beauty of nature and nature’s aesthetic unity. He said that there’s something about the beauty and aesthetic unity of nature that reveals something about the essence of the deep unity of the natural world, which is something that we cannot otherwise express in words. And I think that’s true.
In our modern world, we live in a double-truth universe: so on one hand we have science, and then on the other hand we have the world of value. And science actually tries to keep clear of the world of value. Science says, “We don’t really deal with that. We just deal with empirical phenomena.” But what this ancient idea of the cosmos really shows, I think, is that the worlds of fact and value cannot be separated, because beauty itself is a value. And it’s not something that we invent, either. It’s something innate in the cosmic pattern; and when we experience that beauty and perceive it, we feel a unity with the greater cosmic order of which we are a part.
When we destroy the beauty of the natural world — say, like in the name of economic progress, or whatever — I think it’s very dangerous, because we’re also destroying one of the deepest bonds that we have with the natural order.
Joanna: That’s right. Would you say we could almost speak about compassion with the natural world — restoring human compassion with the natural world?
David: Well yes … Compassion and empathy …
David: Yes, yes.
Joanna: A heart connection?
Joanna: With the world that we are of, with the world that we are.
David: I think that relates very much to the experience of beauty. Because compassion and empathy means “to feel with.” And when we sense that beauty of nature and the beauty that’s manifest in natural forms — you know, everything from flowers to nautilus shells to the spirals of galaxies — we do have an innate, aesthetic, felt emotional response to that. I think that sense of beauty does open up a feeling of compassion and empathy with the greater world. I think that it does.
Joanna: How about your journey, David? How did you come to dedicate your life to fostering and writing and philosophizing about our connection with the heart of nature?
David: Well, that’s an interesting question.
Right now I’m in my early fifties, and I was actually very, very lucky when I was a child. I grew up in West Michigan, in a city called Grand Rapids, and it was very beautiful there. And I was very fortunate because we lived on the edge of town overlooking a lake. We were very close to the city, but it was still being surrounded by nature. So I had this wonderful experience growing up, being surrounded by trees and animals and the stars at night. And I developed a very deep interest in astronomy. And it’s funny because Socrates said that “Wonder is the beginning of all philosophy.” And Plato also talked about how it’s really seeing the stars at night — or astronomy — that inspires us to develop mathematics to really understand the order of the world and the universe. So I became very interested in that, and then I went off to school.
In college, I went to the University of Pennsylvania for a while, where I was studying ancient philosophy, ancient Greek religion, and things like that. As I grew older, I got involved in book publishing, but I was always very interested in what we were talking about earlier — about how Pythagoras said that the cosmos is a beautiful order. So it was really from those beginnings.
Then later in life I started reading a lot about the mechanistic worldview and the Scientific Revolution. And the reason I decided to under this work is because this whole idea of the World Soul and nature’s intelligence arose out of the Greek philosophical tradition. I had studied that in depth, and I saw what kind of consequences this other vision — the mechanistic worldview — led to. So I felt that I had a personal responsibility to write this book, Restoring the Soul of the World, which traces the idea of living nature and nature’s intelligence from ancient times up to the present.
Joanna: Yes. So you write these beautiful words: “Everything begins with starlight.” That is so profoundly beautiful and inspiring. Could you speak more about that?
David: Well, yes. That was the first sentence of the book, and there’s a little narrative and recollection there of what it was like when I was a small child walking down the driveway at night, and seeing all of the stars, and what a fantastic experience it was.
And the later on in the book I talk about an experience that I had when I was much older, probably in my early thirties … That interest in astronomy always stayed with me. I had a really fantastic computerized telescope, and I would take it up north in Michigan and be up there under totally dark skies. This other narrative in the book is about looking into the heart of the Milky Way Galaxy and seeing all of the globular clusters and being in a place where it’s so dark that you can actually see the ground illuminated by starlight by the millions and millions of other stars in our Milky Way Galaxy.
But the idea that “everything begins with starlight” is an interesting intuition because, if you go back to the earliest civilizations, you do discover that all science and also philosophy really arose from the contemplation of the heavens. And I call this phenomenon the cosmological impulse, which is our desire to understand our place in the universe. And that inspires the birth of philosophy and religion and science. And when you look at philosophy, religion, and science in that way, you can see that, in their very earliest forms, they’re all united. They’re all part of a common human desire to understand our place in the universe.
And the phrase has a double meaning, too, because “everything begins with starlight.” Well, we now know scientifically that we do come from the stars. All of the elements on Earth were generated in earlier generations of stars. It’s kind of a poetic intuition that’s scientifically true at the same time.
Joanna: “Star seed.”
Joanna: “Star seed.” David, can you speak on the relationship between the stars and myths and how your journey has been looking at both these things together? And out of that creating more myths?
David: The approach that I always found to be very interesting is the study of worldview. Because the way that we look at the world — it is oftentimes unconscious — but our worldviews influence the way that we relate to other people and to the greater natural world. And our worldviews also shape our culture. So in a sense we are products of our worldviews, and our worldviews are also a products of us — so there is sort of a spiral dance that goes on between us and our worldviews. But it’s very hard, I think, for a lot people to think about worldview because our worldviews are so close to us that they are unconscious. It’s like the water that fish swim in. They’re so surrounded by it that they can’t see it.
But one thing that I found to be very helpful is to go back and look at the worldviews of earlier cultures. And so in the first chapter of the book I show how, in earlier cultures, the temples were built to be aligned to the stars and this was one of the ways that ancient people harmonized — or attempted to harmonize — their life with the life of the greater world and the cosmos. And I see this as being a natural human instinct. And it does show you how the stars and myth and culture were related to one another in terms of an integrated worldview. These ancient sites were not simply scientific observatories in the modern sense, but they were instruments that the cultures used in a ritual or magical way to harmonize the life of the culture with the greater world in which they existed.
Joanna: I was wondering … how do you see us after the great individuation coming to a more beautiful and deeper relationship with nature?
David: How do I see us achieving that in modern times?
Joanna: Yes, in modern times.
David: Well that is the ultimate question, I suppose. [Laughter]
Joanna: That’s it! [Laughter]
David: And that’s really what the book is about, because it traces this historical arc of being part of a living universe — which we were for many hundreds of years — and then losing that sense of being part of a living universe. Because what happened with the Scientific Revolution is that a new vision of the human personality emerged. For example, in the thought of Descartes, everything in the world, including our bodies, functioned as machines. And animals were also seen as being machines. For example, if you hit a dog and the dog barked, it wasn’t seen as a manifestation of an animal experiencing pain; it was just a malfunctioning machine giving off a noise, which isn’t a very nice way, or a very accurate way, of looking at things. And we started to view the world from the standpoint of being disconnected spectators.
And even though the mechanistic worldview is not really believed in any longer by scientists, it’s still, in a cultural sense, very much the world that we live in. And so the question is, How can we once again …
Joanna: Break out?
Joanna: Let me just talk for a moment. Why was this necessary? Can you say what good has come out of that? Because I find it very repelling.
Joanna: Can you say why this came about, and if there are any positive aspects other than what you mentioned before, about individuation?
David: Yes. Well, I really didn’t discuss that too much in the book. Obviously there are good things that have come out of the mechanistic worldview. For example, we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now if it wasn’t for this wonderful technology. [Laughter]
But one person who has given a lot of thought to this is Richard Tarnas, who wrote the book The Passion of the Western Mind. He was on my PhD committee, and I really loved his book, which inspired me to undertake this work in some ways.
One thing that Richard Tarnas picks up on is the strong relationships that exist between the kinds of psychological patterns you see in human development, in terms of human individuals, and how these are also reflected on much larger time scales in terms of cultural development. We undergo stages of development in our consciousness when we grow as human beings from being a child to an adult. And it seems that similar changes have happened in terms of the psychological states of humanity on a broader scale, because the people who were living thousands and thousands of years ago didn’t have these well-developed Cartesian egos like we do today.
So if you look at it from a psychological and developmental perspective, Richard Tarnas thinks that if you go back to earlier cultures they really did have this incredible participation with nature, but it was also largely unconscious. Their relationship to the natural world was one of a participation mystique where there weren’t really any firm dividing lines between the psyche and the larger world. And then as human beings individuate you get the development of the ego, where you feel separate from the world. You now look at the world as something that’s more like an object. And that phase is necessary before you can reunite with the world in a deeper way.
That’s what Richard Tarnas feels about this arc of Western history and the patterns of consciousness that we see reflected in it. And that’s something that I would like to believe in too. I think it’s a very beautiful idea. So if you look at it in that way, we’re basically having a mid-life crisis, I suppose, in terms of our civilization. [Laughter] And we had to separate from the world in order to understand the world in a deeper way, so that at some future point we can reintegrate our lives with the cosmos. That’s what we hope will happen.
Joanna: And that’s the beauty of your book because it’s all about reintegrating with the natural world … and bringing our developed personalities to this awareness that we are a part of everything.
David: Yes. For example of there’s that section in the book where I was talking about looking through the telescope and seeing the stars. But the thing that was so fascinating about it is that I actually knew what I was looking at because of the technology and because of science. So everything has two sides to it, and certainly we’ve done a lot of damage to the world by means of our technology. But we’ve also been able to understand the physical world in much deeper and more accurate ways than anyone was able to in the past. In fact, everything that we know about the large-scale structure of the universe is something that we’ve only learned over the last one hundred and fifty years. In that time period, we’ve learned more than all of the previous generations of human beings combined. So hopefully we’ll have the wisdom to learn from nature, in that way, without destroying it at the same time.
Joanna: That’s very, very exciting, if we look at that as an evolution of consciousness. And that perhaps we had to go through this mechanistic moment so that we could become more intimate.
David: Yes. And Richard Tarnas says that you can imagine that our civilization is now engaged in a birth process. We’re bringing forth something new. But if you’re walking down the street and you come upon a pregnant woman who’s delivering a baby, there’s all sorts of excruciating pain, and blood, and things like that, so there’s a lot of suffering involved in giving birth.
Joanna: Yes, yes. So David, would you speak to us about the alchemical tradition … something you have studied and speak about?
David: Yes, there’s a chapter in the book on the alchemical tradition. I thought it was very interesting because the alchemists had this view of nature that was developmental and, you could say, evolutionary.
They saw everything in nature developing and growing, basically like plants; and so when they thought of the metals that come from the Earth, they thought that the metals were actually growing from seeds, and that these seeds were fertilized by heavenly forces. This was all a natural process, and the metals were naturally evolving, or developing, towards gold. So the alchemists very much had this idea of living nature present in their thoughts.
The alchemists are a chapter in the history of the idea of living nature in the Western world. And you could say that there were a lot of ways in which the alchemists were wrong — you know, in terms of the physical world. But you can also study their thought in terms of the human imagination, which is the approach I take in the book. But the interesting thing about it, though, is that the alchemists seem to have had this intuition that all matter is evolutionary, and they were really the only thinkers in the history of Western tradition to have had this idea.
It’s sort of ironic, because we now know, in fact, that’s true. Even matter has a history now, all the matter in the universe. We now know that the first element in the universe was hydrogen and that it was cooked — it was alchemically cooked — in different generations of stars. And all the other elements were generated from stars blowing up, with these more complex forms of matter arising.
The other way in which the alchemists are interesting is they had a total participatory view when it came to the natural world. Our modern scientific view wants to objectify the world and see the world as being something totally separate from our selves. But for the alchemists, there was one creative process that was operating both in the physical world and within human nature — and they participated in this natural process of creation. Their whole idea was that nature is going to develop and flower anyways, because the metals were naturally evolving towards gold. But they thought of themselves as being like gardeners or midwives, and cultivating a natural process. Then they could nurture along this creative process.
That’s an idea, I think, that is actually very important to our own time. Because the way that we have been looking at the world ever since the Scientific Revolution is that nature is something for us to manage and control, and something for us to gain power over. Whereas there’s been this other tradition, which isn’t very well known in the Western world, but it’s existed from ancient times. And according to this other tradition, our purpose as human beings is not to control the world, but to bring the world to some sort of creative fruition.
Joanna: Yes. To be gardeners …
David: Yes — to make the world into a beautiful place that vibrates with fertility and beauty.
Joanna: Would you like to talk a little bit about your Cosmopolis Project and this conference that is happening this June in Greece?
David: I have a website called the Cosmopolis Project, and it’s an outgrowth of the different types of research that I’ve done. I feel very passionately about the humanities, and about the contribution the humanities can make to our lives and to society. And I feel that the humanities have taken a wrong turn, because the original purpose of the humanities was to help us become global citizens, culturally literate, help us live the examined life, and develop as human beings. But because of a lot of the things that have happened in the academic world, that vision of the humanities has been largely lost.
So a friend of mine and I decided to put together a small conference. It’s like a small symposium, which is going to take place in Athens, and the topic of the symposium is the “The Humanities, the Experience of the Transcendent, and the Future of Education.”
The word transcendent has different meanings, but we are using it in the simplest sense, to mean the experience of belonging to a reality that is larger than yourself. And this was something that was very, very important in ancient philosophy to the Stoics — and to many philosophers. And I think it’s so important for us today, this idea that we belong to a reality that extends beyond our limited selves and encompasses the whole world, or the entire living community that makes up the planet. Because if we don’t have that sense of belonging to a larger reality, there is really no reason at all to be ethical human beings.
The Stoics said that we belong to a global community — a cosmopolis — that extends beyond us, and it’s because of the common intelligence, which unites human beings, that we have love for other human beings and the rest of the world. So I really see that as being a foundational idea, that if we’re going to be ethical people, as well as being good cosmic citizens here on the Earth, we have to understand that we belong to something that’s larger than ourselves.
Joanna: So a little more time on that. As a philosopher, would you describe what ethics means to you?
David: The philosophy world is strange, because the way philosophers usually work is that they come up with all these different definitions of things, with these complex terms. And then they ask you, “Are you X, Y, or Z?” — what category do you fall into, and what belief system do you follow? And for me, really, ethics is much simpler: it’s our basic relationship with the world, and understanding that you belong to a larger reality, and consciously striving for goodness and virtue.
The Greeks had this idea of human flourishing — eudaimonia — and for me, human flourishing also involves living in a world that is flourishing. Because, if we live in a dead world, we’re not going to flourish very well as human beings. So that’s really the way that I look at ethics. And I do believe there is something like what Plato believed, that there is something like the Good, or an essential nature of goodness. And I do think that we see this reflected in the structure of living organisms [and how they function].
This again goes to show how the worlds of fact and value are not separate from one another — they’re actually conjoined — because if we look at the structures of living organisms, they embody patterns of goodness and harmony that allow them to function in the best possible way. And the ancient philosophers, and other writers since then, have made the point that it’s actually the fact that organisms embody these patterns of goodness and harmony, which makes them beautiful. And so that’s taking us back to the idea of the beauty of the world.
The problem with ethics, of course, is that it’s complicated in practice; and even if you believe in an archetype of goodness, like Plato did, when it comes to making individual ethical decisions, it’s often difficult. Because even if you know the essential nature of goodness, when it comes down to specific situations and ethical decisions, they’re often complicated. So you can’t always be sure you’re making the best decision.
Joanna: Well, I want to ask you to what’s your view on religion and, more precisely, on the Abrahamic religions.
David: That’s an interesting question. Actually, when I was in school, I studied Christian origins, because I became interested in Gnosticism and found it to be very interesting the way that Christianity came into being historically. I went to a school, the University of Pennsylvania, where we could study it just as history. There was no theology involved or anything like that, which was very nice, because where I grew up in Michigan that wasn’t possible. And I’ve studied mysticism in the Christian tradition as well as in the Islamic tradition.
This word religion — the etymology of it means, literally, to “re-link.” And so I think that religion itself is something valuable, because the idea behind it is for us to be linked to the cosmos, or to have a sense of belonging to a larger reality, which I think is essential for us as human beings to really develop. But then of course, as you know, religion gets interpreted in all sorts of a strange and unusual ways — and sometimes that doesn’t have very pleasant outcomes. [Laughter]
David: As far as the Abrahamic religions go, I do have a chapter in the book on the monotheistic and polytheistic imaginations. And it’s interesting that all the monotheistic religions in the Western world — or you can say the Abrahamic traditions — did originate from a desert environment. And the tendency there is not to be surrounded by a lot of vegetation or plants. Everything is very simple in the desert: there’s heaven versus the earth that you’re walking on, and then at night you see the stars. And so I think that living in that sort of environment gives birth to certain kind of God-image.
David: Yes, that God is imagined in a particular way. And I think that there are some good aspects to the monotheistic imagination. But if we look at it historically, too, there’s quite a bit of psychological splitting that has gone on in those traditions — so you have a lot of pairs of opposites being generated, and that can lead to violence. And we’ve seen that in those traditions.
Actually, let me explain it this way, because I think this sums it up very well. This is from the Islamic tradition, but this actually applies to all of the monotheistic traditions. The central idea in the Islamic tradition is tawhid or divine unity. And so it’s pure monotheism. But the problem is that, within the Islamic tradition, there has been a major crisis that has been going on for centuries, because there are two totally different interpretations of divine unity. And they both have two, totally different outcomes.
One interpretation of divine unity in the Islamic tradition is that there is a divine unity that encompasses the entire world and all of creation. And you find that reflected in Sufism — that there’s a divine unity present in the world, and that it encompasses us. I think that’s the original meaning of the Islamic tradition, because there are verses in the Quran that support it. For example, there’s a very beautiful line that says, “Wherever you turn, there is the face of God.” That is very beautiful, and there are other expressions of this in the Quran, that the divine is really present in the world.
But then there’s this totally different interpretation of divine unity, which is that “because God is one, God is totally separate from the universe.” And in that later interpretation, there is no contact or intercourse or connection with God directly, but only through a system of laws.
You can see how different those two views are, and they lead to two totally different social outcomes, because the one interpretation creates a legal system of people telling you what you can and can’t do, what’s halal and haram, and all of that, and then punishing people. And the other view — that the divine encompasses the universe and is present here — leads to an entirely peaceful interpretation of the monotheistic tradition.
You find that basic dichotomy, I think really, in Judaism and Christianity too. So that’s what it really comes down to, I think, in terms of how the same religion can create totally different outcomes. And especially in the Islamic tradition right now, people are having a hard time figuring out which is the correct interpretation, and there’s no central authority [in Islam] to tell people what is correct.
This actually relates directly to the book. And while I didn’t write about it, there is a structural similarity between the one interpretation of Islam — the extremist Wahhabi view, where the divine is not part of the universe — and the mechanistic worldview of the Scientific Revolution: because in that worldview the divine was not part of the universe either. It was split off. And in the same way that you can only have a connection with God through an Islamic legal system, the Scientific Revolution was based on discovering the mathematical laws of nature, which were believed to be present in the mind of God — so there’s a direct parallel between those two structures.
And what that shows to me is that once you get this idea of the divine split off or separated from the world, where it’s no longer present in the world, it inevitably leads to some kind of violence.
Joanna: Right. The difference between Freud and Bateson.
David: Yes. [Laughter] And you can you can see that in the Western tradition, in the writings of Francis Bacon, which I discuss in the book, about how we are to become “the masters and possessors of nature,” and “torture the secrets out of nature,” and make nature into “the slave of mankind” — those are very violent images.
Johanna: Yes …
David: And that whole underlying way of thought led to the myth of progress, and paving over large parts of the planet, and to perpetuating this type of violence, oftentimes in an unconscious way. But nonetheless, there has been a kind of unconscious war between humanity and the natural world that we’re part of.
Joanna: Well, David, thank you so much for writing your book, and contributing to creative intelligence and our connection with the heart of nature. We’ve come to the place where I would like to thank you very, very much, and ask you what you would like to say in closing?
David: Well, in the final chapter of the book I talk about what a new worldview might look like, and I go back to this earlier idea of humans being engaged in a therapeutic and collaborative relationship with the natural world, to bring the world to fruition. And I really believe that we need to see ourselves not as “the masters and possessors of nature,” but as collaborators with nature, to bring the entire world to some sort of creative fruition. And while the idea of learning from nature is very, very ancient, the idea of collaborating with nature is also part of our Western Tradition.
I don’t believe that there’s any sort of technological quick fix for the kinds of problems that have arisen. But all living things embody intelligence, and they’re able to heal themselves; and if we’re able to collaborate with nature’s intelligence, we can help to regenerate the living systems of the Earth. And in the last chapter of the book I talk about some people who are working along those lines. It’s absolutely fascinating, because they’re working with living organisms to purify polluted bodies of water and remove carcinogens, because the natural systems possess a level of intelligence that we can’t.
The one thing that we’ve learned over the past three hundred years since Scientific Revolution is that we’re not going to engineer a solution to the ecological crisis. But if we’re able to listen to the Earth, and work with nature’s intelligence, we can help the world regain its fertility. So that would be my closing thought.
Joanna: Beautiful. Thank you so much, David. I hope a lot of people read your book.
David: Thank you very much. It’s been really nice speaking with you.
David Fideler holds a PhD in philosophy and the history of science. He is the author of Restoring the Soul of the World and other books. You can read more about his work here. David will be speaking on “Anima Mundi: The Word Soul from Plato’s Timaeus to the Gaia Hypothesis” in London at the Temenos Academy on Monday, June 27, 2016. He lives in Sarajevo with his wife and son.
Joanna Harcourt-Smith is the host of Future Primitive, a podcast that presents intimate conversations with authors, visionaries, and innovators from around the world, who speak about our connection and partnership with the living Earth. Joanna lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
- Restoring the Soul of the World: Our Living Bond with Nature’s Intelligence
- Nature’s Living Intelligence by David Fideler (KOSMOS Journal website)
- Nature’s Living Intelligence by David Fideler by David Fideler (PDF download)
- Website of Ocean Arks International. Pioneers in creating ecological regenerative design systems that collaborate with nature’s intelligence.